|SPARKS : PULLING RABBITS OUT OF A HAT
REVIEW BY MARTIN TRUKSA
Sparks - Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat (Atlantic) 1984 :-
Anyone who has a derogatory word to say about this album must be mad.
'Pulling Rabbits Out Of a Hat' is predominantly an album of dreamy love ballads - sexy, sultry, amorous love songs. For much of the time Russell's voice is low and brooding (in complete contrast to the usual high-pitched falsetto). There is an enchanting, lovesick tension within the whole atmosphere.
It is virtually impossible to listen to 'Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat' without getting turned on! Songs like 'Love Scenes', 'Kiss Me Quick' and 'With All My Might' tug at the heartstrings and evoke a sense of sexual euphoria.
'The Song That Sings Itself' has an innocent melodic charm to it and sounds distinctly European. One can't help thinking that Sparks could win the 'Eurovision Song Contest' hands down with this gorgeous song. "No exaggeration, no hallucination, I can hear it singing now!".
'Sisters' is another Sparks gem. There is a great build up in the verse with a choir-like effect accompanying Russell's voice, and then Russell launches into an unbelievably melodic chorus, "Sisters, where is the jealousy is it there ...". Pure bliss !!!
‘Sparks In The Dark’ was the backing track to another lyrical song. But after Ron added a few instrumental lines to it, the tune began to sound good as an instrumental.
Three songs from 'Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat' were released as singles, namely 'Pretending To Be Drunk', 'Progress' and 'With All My Might'. Russell wrote the lyrics to 'Pretending To Be Drunk' and 'Love Scenes'. Apart from that, Ron did everything else. A US tour in August 1984 to promote the album featured rugged mountain landscapes, fake horses on rock formations and a sunrise in the background.
There is an underlying significance behind the album cover of 'Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat'. It was overtly meant to illustrate the absurdity of Russell being a puppet to Ron. It was carried to an extreme by having it that obvious.
Every self respecting Sparks fan should ensure that they have this brilliant musical masterpiece in their record collection. They should beg, borrow, steal or do whatever it takes to achieve this.
For full album lyrics, please click on the Atlantic Records poster advertisement above.
SPARKS : Tracks - Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat, Love Scenes, Pretending To Be Drunk, Progress, With All My Might, Sparks In The Dark (Part One), Everybody Move, A Song That Sings Itself, Sisters, Kiss Me Quick, Sparks In The Dark (Part Two)
Sparks CD : Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat